MINSK, 17 August (BelTA) – Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko gave his take on the calls to go on strike as he visited the MZKT company on 17 August, BelTA has learned.
The head of state was told that factories are working at large. “I know it, although some are roaming. Maybe 150 at some company, maybe even 200 [people] make little difference, in the first place. Secondly, you should keep in mind that the ‘bad' president banned layoffs, so that workers who were no longer needed would not be thrown into the street. You should keep it in mind. Those who want to work, should be able to work. If some people do not want to work, we will not make them work,” the head of state said.
Speaking about MZKT, the president emphasized: “There is nothing to explain to them. What else do they need? The salary here is Br1,500 [the average salary at the company], great prospects, good working conditions. What to explain to them? They just have to be warned once and for all: those who will go through the gate, will not be allowed to come back. This is a defense industry company, after all.”
During his visit to MZKT, Aleksandr Lukashenko spent a lot of time talking to the staff, gave candid answers to their hard questions regarding the situation in the country and told people what adventurous actions and over-politicization can lead to.
“If you are hard-working and normal people, you should work, guys. Put forward your demands, push for them, shout, but do not put the manufacturing process on hold. I want to reiterate (don't get offended), but you will not bring me to my knees. Don't do things that might hurt you and your families. You will experience it a week after you throw the company into disarray. Think about what I am saying today and what I said yesterday,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.
Some workers asked practical questions, like housing construction, support for big families. The president recalled that a lot has been done in Belarus in this field and the government will stick to this policy in the future.
The head of state also inspected the workshops of the company and studied its production processes. After that he toured MAZ facilities located nearby. He talked to the company's staff and discussed the ongoing developments with them.
“After all, I am responsible for all of you, even if you do not want it. I do not want this fight, because I just do not need it,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he talked to the MAZ workers.